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Former Constableville Elementary School is now on the market

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CONSTABLEVILLE — Looking for an old school building?

All you need is $75,000 and a dream.

“We’d love someone to make something of it that would benefit the community and the school district,” South Lewis Central School District Superintendent Douglas E. Premo said of the former Constableville Elementary School building.

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved listing the 12.1-acre property, featuring a two-story former school building and small bus garage, with Good Morning Realty, Lowville, at the recently appraised price of $75,000.

“My hope is that the price is right,” said real estate agent Britton A. Abbey, a South Lewis alumnus. “There is so much potential there just with the size.”

Citing budgetary constraints, the Board of Education closed Constableville Elementary School before the 2012-13 school year, with its pupils split between Glenfield and Port Leyden. Fifth-graders now attend the middle school in Turin, rather than one of the elementary schools.

The district is anticipating cost savings of $600,000 to $650,000 from the consolidation, and officials said the switch has allowed for the addition of programs such as fifth- and sixth-grade intramurals and before-school activities for elementary pupils.

However, it also left the district with a large building that had served as the community’s school for more than 80 years.

“We’ve made use of it as a storage facility,” Mr. Premo said.

Even minimal heating, maintenance and upkeep at the old building still is expected to cost about $35,000 this year, and district officials would like to see someone else find a use for the property, he said.

The district, with assistance from the Lewis County economic Development and Planning Office, last year applied for a state grant to conduct a reuse study on the school building, but the proposal was not funded.

“There was no grant money out there,” Mr. Premo said.

Mr. Abbey said the building probably would not work well for office space but could be used for storage, housing or even manufacturing. He plans to check with local zoning officials to determine what uses would be allowed.

While the small-town location could make the property more difficult to move, Mr. Abbey said, he would like to see someone find a productive use for the building and put the property on the tax rolls.

Anyone with interest or ideas can call Good Morning Realty at 376-8688.

The South Lewis district was able to unload its former Lyons Falls school building after closing it in 1982, and the structure temporarily housed some businesses shortly afterward.

However, the building, still zoned educational, then went unused for many years. Lewis County officials are now working to remove a family that apparently is living in a portion of old school until zoning and code violations are resolved.

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